Metallica, one of the biggest selling acts in American history, were born on October 28, 1981 when drummer Lars Ulrich and guitar player/singer James Hetfield got together via Ulrich’s LA Recycler newspaper ad.
Soon, the two had recruited Hetfield’s friend and housemate Ron McGovney to play bass, Dave Mustaine to play lead guitar, and taken the name Metallica after a suggestion from Bay Area metal scene friend Ron Quintana. Their ascent was to be relatively quick, driven by sheer work-rate, effort and a rare musical chemistry.
Under the influence of Metallica and it’s fierce rivalry with Megadeth, founded by ex member Dave Mustaine after he parted with Metallica – the popularity of the Heavy Metal genre grew and made it to the mainstream.
Metallica has since released ten studio albums, four live albums, a cover album, five extended plays, 37 singles and 39 music videos.
The band has won nine Grammy Awards from 23 nominations, and its last six studio albums (beginning with Metallica) have consecutively debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Metallica ranks as one of the most commercially successful bands of all time, having sold over 125 million albums worldwide as of 2018.
Metallica has been listed as one of the greatest artists of all time by magazines such as Rolling Stone, which ranked them at no. 61 on its 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list. As of 2017, Metallica is the third best-selling music artist since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991, selling a total of 58 million albums in the United States.